Sylvia Sanchez Boots Anson-Roa MMK Lipstick

In what was considered one of the most powerful, gripping dramatic performances of premiere actresses Sylvia Sanchez and Boots Anson-Roa, Maalaala Mo Kaya’s 2018 Christmas episode “Lipstick” had another run as the longest running drama anthology’s pre-Yuletide offering this year.

As viewers were stunned with their moving, tear-jerking scenes in a relatable and touching tale, MMK “Lipstick” was definitely one of the most heart-wrenching, piercing episodes ever.

Sylvia plays Jona, who had grown up resenting her mother Nita, portrayed by Boots, as she never had time for the family and had a serious addiction for gambling and illegal drugs.

As she is brought to the limits of her patience, Jona gives up on Nita and her family, and eloped with boyfriend Ruben (Nonie Buencamino), started her own family and vowed never to follow the footsteps of her mother Nita.

When Nita’s husband Fred (Toby Alejar) passed away due to a heart attack, she went into a downspiral towards depression. Because of this Jona decided to forget Nita’s transgressions when she learned about her mother’s condition, and went back home to take care of her. But as her condition worsened, they learned she had been afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Because of this illness, she would forget the identities of her children, including Jona, whom she wrongfully recognizes as her friend Virgie. As Jona went to the wet market one day, she saw Nita involved in a commotion in one of the stalls. It turned out she took a red lipstick that was on display and just applied it on her lips without paying for it. Because of this, Jona was forced to shell out her hard-earned money to pay for the lipstick.

But after she settled everything, Jona realized Nita was nowhere to be found until she and her siblings found her sitting alone on the street. They then took her home, but her Alzheimer’s became a growing headache for the family, especially for Jona, who would constantly lose her patience and hurt her. After some time, they discovered Nita was no longer in her room.

Nita left their home again and was nowhere to be found. Jona’s brother Mike (James Blanco) blamed her for Nita’s disappearance. Jona and her siblings searched for Nita everywhere but they could not find her for weeks.

As Jona and her siblings celebrated their noche buena during Christmas Eve, she received a call from someone who had found and taken care of Nita when she wandered aimlessly on the streets. She was Josephine (Nikki Valdez), who brought Nita back to Jona and her family.

Realizing how much she loved Nita when she turned missing, Jona made up for her own past abuses by devotedly taking care of Nita. When they talked one night at Nita’s room, Jona learned something from her mom that moved her to tears. Addressing her as Virgie, Nita told Jona that she wanted to go to her parents in Tarlac so that she could borrow some money and help her daughter Jona. She said she wanted to make up for all the wrongdoings she committed against Jona in the past and that she truly admired and loved her daughter.

Since Jona told Nita that her daughter has long forgiven her, Nita, who still thinks Jona is still her friend Virgie, was elated about the news and said she was now ready to return home and reconcile with Jona. But Jona told her mother that she was already home, telling her that she is actually her daughter Jona, not Virgie, accepting her wholeheartedly with loving arms. Nita then finally acknowledged this and hugged Jona tightly, now truly recognizing her as her daughter.

Since then, Nita and Jona were inseparable, enjoying their time together as mother and daughter together with their loving family, even gifting her that red lipstick she always wanted and even applied it on her to Nita’s utter joy. But one morning, as Jona tried to wake Nita up to serve her breakfast, her mother was unresponsive. They would rush her to the hospital to find out that her Alzheimer’s had turned for the worse, leaving her debilitated and needed hospital confinement to keep her alive. After a few days of being brain-dead, Nita heaved her final breath, leaving Jona and her family devastated.

Months after Nita passed away, the family had a picnic to celebrate Christmas. Jona was happy that her family had become stronger and more tightly knit because of Nita’s continued presence in their hearts. Her daughter Marjorie (Alexa Ilacad) would then give Jona a gift she truly cherished—red lipstick, which she said, would make her look a lot like her lola Nita.

Truly heartwarming and moving, MMK “Lipstick” presented not only the exceptional acting craft of the entire cast, especially Sylvia and Boots, but also the impeccable mastery of the creative and production teams—from the brilliant direction of Nuel C. Naval to the exceptional script penned by Benson Logronio and Arah Jell Badayos.

Sylvia and Boots’ performance was truly unforgettable with their powerful onscreen interactions having a deeply etched impact on viewers. Their believable and accurate depictions definitely shows a genuine picture of Alzheimer’s sufferers and how the disease affects their families and people close to them. A truly relatable masterpiece for viewers to savor.

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